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Chuck Schumer ‘worried’ that his daughter was not marrying a Jew

New York Senator Chuck Schumer spoke to the Jewish group Agudath Israel on Sunday at the New York Hilton and described two joyous events, one being his parents’ anniversary.

While we’re here with mishpocheh [extended family], I have two simchas [joyous events]. Six weeks ago my daughter got married. When she talked about him she said she had a boyfriend named Shappy and I was a little worried, because Shappy doesn’t sound like a Jewish last name. But that was his nickname; his last name is Shapiro. He’s a wonderful boy and we’re very happy.

Let’s talk about Schumer’s “worry.” First we need to acknowledge who is allowed to have that “worry.” Our culture says parents are not allowed to be “worried” about race, creed, color, religion, gender. Your daughter is bringing home her new friend, you better not be “worried,” whoever is attached. It is supposed to be all the same to the parent. There is apparently one exception to all of this.

When Debbie Wasserman Schultz told a Jewish audience “we have the problem of intermarriage,” she was compelled to apologize for the statement a day or two later. Maybe because she is so powerful– being the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Schumer is one of ten Jewish senators; and Jews can’t really describe themselves as outsiders in the US power structure. And as Cliff Wolf of the American Jewish Committee said very sensibly at a Jewish event at SUNY Purchase two weeks ago, other American religious groups such as Protestants and Catholics are experiencing the same rates of intermarriage as Jews are. We are all Americans, he said.


Phil Weiss and Yakov Hirsch

Phil Weiss is a co-editor of this site. Yakov Hirsch is a professional poker player and dog trainer.

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22 Responses

  1. pabelmont on June 7, 2016, 11:24 am

    Nonsense. Parents (if involved, of course, which is another thing entirely — adult kids get married w/o parents OK) have every rioght to do their best for their kids (arranging and dis-arranging marriage possibilities) with a view to getting their kids into culturally-coherent marriage.

    When I told my parents that I was engaged to a Palestinian who I met in chamber-music-camp, a terrific pianist (like my father), they saw at once that there was TOTAL cultural coherency. We were secular Jews, she a very good person of Quaker (understated Christian) background. No problem.

    But they might have opposed my getting together with an evangelical Christian on the grounds that that would eb absolutely not culturally compatible. (Whether in such case I would have listened is of course another matter.)

    All that said, I favor mixed marriages if the mixture combines compatible differences. Seems Schumer seeks to forbid some mixtures.

    • Mooser on June 7, 2016, 12:25 pm

      “When I told my parents that I was engaged to a Palestinian who I met in chamber-music-camp, a terrific pianist (like my father), they saw at once that there was TOTAL cultural coherency”

      My wife still refuses to tell her Mom I play the Hammond organ. (Or try to)

      • Walker on June 7, 2016, 2:32 pm

        Why don’t you just take the bull by the horns, Mooser, and perform the next time she comes for a visit?

      • Mooser on June 7, 2016, 3:27 pm

        “take the bull by the (rotating) horns and perform the next time she comes for a visit?”

        Oh no! What a sordid squabble that would turn into! I know better.

        My own parents didn’t think much of it either. My Dad would always say: “Look, there goes ‘Mikel-mechim-pim-sh’maya, the Knife!'” when I sat down to practice.

    • Emory Riddle on June 8, 2016, 11:42 am

      What an excuse pabelmont. Schumer did not care about anything at all except that his future son in law be Jewish. That level of tribalism belongs in the past,

    • rosross on June 8, 2016, 8:59 pm

      Culturally coherent is still a euphemism for discrimination, i.e. racism. The concept of mixed marriages is also racist. There is only one race, the human race, and people have been marrying without any cultural coherence for a very long time, and often succeeding.

      Just as mixed DNA is of benefit, so too are mixed cultures and that only happens with relationship, particularly marriage.

      • Marnie on June 8, 2016, 11:58 pm

        And that’s the truth! Thank you!

  2. silamcuz on June 7, 2016, 11:33 am

    Chuck displays stereotypical traits of a narcissistic parent. As a father, its his responsibility is to either introduce her daughter to a man (or a woman) that will be loyal to her and is capable of providing and protecting her til the end, or he should just move aside and allow her daughter to choose for herself.

    Chuck doesn’t get to decide who the daughter gets to marry, nor has he any right to even disagree with her choice especially if he is incapable of fulfilling his primary responsibility as a father.

    Your children are not yours, they belong to humanity which Jewish people are a part of along with millions of other groups.

    • Mooser on June 7, 2016, 12:29 pm

      “stereotypical traits of a narcissistic…”

      Oh, you bet.
      I’ll leave now, I wouldn’t want my breath to ruffle the smooth mirror-like surface of the water. You just keep looking closer and closer at the beautiful reflection, “simulcuz”, closer and closer…

  3. wondering jew on June 7, 2016, 12:15 pm

    Shorter: the sooner judaism disappears, the better.

    • Mooser on June 7, 2016, 12:46 pm

      “Shorter: the sooner judaism disappears, the better.” “Yonah Fredman”

      I’m very sorry you feel that way, “Yonah”. I can understand why your experience (you’ve described them pretty well) has pushed you to your conclusions about Judaism, but it didn’t have to be that way. You do have a choice.

      Try to forgive Judaism, “Yonah” and not bear it any personal grudges. It’s much healthier for the old emotional make-up.
      Me, I never blame Judaism for my own failings, except in bed. But all kinds of people suffer from insomnia, so that isn’t so bad.

    • Doubtom on June 8, 2016, 1:42 pm

      Amen! All of religion is but backwards claptrap and childish attachments to myths. Face reality!

      • rosross on June 8, 2016, 9:06 pm

        No, all of religion is not claptrap or childish, but a lot of it is. There are profound and valuable spiritual teachings buried in all religions, to lesser and greater degrees, and at core they all say the same things because they no doubt came from the same place originally.

        But religions became power systems and dominated by men and the rot set in long ago.

        Religions which demand that the world at large agree with their beliefs, i.e. God gave us this or that or God said this or that, are delusional and backward and need to be held in check, but personal and private religion is for each individual to choose to embrace or reject and if kept private and not imposed on others, then to each their own. Religion brings comfort to many and is only an issue when it is used as a weapon to destroy and control others.

    • Marnie on June 9, 2016, 12:00 am

      Shorter yonah: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Mooser on June 7, 2016, 3:48 pm

    “Yakov Hirsch is a professional poker player and dog trainer.”

    That explains it. I always wondered who trained C.M. Coolidge’s dogs.

    I wish you could train my Dora. I’m tired of making up her gambling losses.

  5. Balfour on June 7, 2016, 8:05 pm

    Had Bill or Hillary Clinton addressed a group of Protestant Christians several years ago and said that Chelsea had brought home a boyfriend with the last name of Mezvinsky and that “they were a little worried”, because Mezvinsky “doesn’t sound like” a Christian last name how long would Hilary’s political ambitions remained legitimate and viable in the Democratic Party?

    • Citizen on June 8, 2016, 5:53 am

      Ivanka’s choice has helped or hurt Trump and/orGOP? My poor parents–I just expected them to love whomever I dragged home as my wife… I thought that was normal–actually I didn’t think about it at all.

      • rosross on June 8, 2016, 9:47 pm

        It wasn’t their business. It never occurred to me that my parent’s views mattered. It was my choice. But then I lived in a pretty secular culture.

  6. dx on June 8, 2016, 12:45 am

    Yep, Balfour, you’re exactly right.

  7. James Canning on June 8, 2016, 1:02 pm

    Intermarriage is a “problem”? Rubbish.

  8. Kathleen on June 11, 2016, 11:59 am

    Phil you have addressed this embedded racism/bigotry in the past. Most who have been around Jewish populations for any length of time will hear these kinds of comments. Yes racism and bigotry exist in the Jewish community in the States.

  9. Kathleen on June 11, 2016, 12:05 pm

    Awhile back on “With All Due Respect” John Heilemann and Mark Halperin were having a repeated discussion about the “racist” statements of Trump about a Judge. Halperin started to say something about how could any official be charged with being so loyal to a country that their heritage is linked to. Heilemann moved rather quickly to shut him down.

    My comment on their fb page.
    “…HRC. Mark Halperin interesting that you almost slipped and said something about how could any official (like the Judge issue you folks are harping on) make a critical decision based on their allegiance to some other country. Helilemann cut you off at the pass. You know we have example after example of our Reps (Senator Schumer) etc making foreign policy decisions, voting on legislation that has to do with supporting Israel no matter what they do over and over again through the decades. Yeah Schumer etc born in the U.s. but is devotion to Israel blinds him even when it comes to U.S. National Security (and really Israel’s) when it came to the Iran deal that he pushed back hard against.”

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